Shopping in LA

Of course, as a single dad with three kids to please at Christmas, I have to start the arduous task of shopping in LA by myself or maybe with the help of Grandma. My three year old boy Lucas has been watching a lot of the PBS show Dinosaur Train lately. I scoured the internet and found quite a few toys and various products from that show. I had no idea just how much dinosaur stuff there was for that show. I found this fan website loaded with dinosaur train toys and other related party supplies. I think I’ll get him a few DVD’s , a dinosaur or two, plus a train set if my budget allows.

My five year old girl Kari loves to make little hideouts or girl’s only clubs with blankets and chairs. Last year her eight year old sister Deanne got a Pocahontas costume and Tee Pee on her birthday and the girls turned it into a girlie hut full of their dolls and toys. Unfortunately it, and several dolls ended up getting chewed up and ruined by our Beagle puppy “Hurricane”. I think I will get Kari and her sister a couple of cardboard playhouse princess castles this time. They saw some at a school friend’s birthday party earlier this year, and that’s all they talked about for a week. The dog seems to be largely past his puppy teething and chewing stage, so I’m hoping the toy castles will last.

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Open House for Kindergarten

It’s that time when all little kids must get ready for their formal entry into the world of school. Kari, my five year old has been going to a local day-care / pre-school, but I am looking to get her into a good classroom at the nearby public school. We are fortunate to live in a district with quality public schools with good parent associations. I took a tour of the school with a horde of other anxious and concerned parents after a brief introductory meeting with the Principal, several Kinder teachers, and parent representatives.

I learned that the schools are moving to a “Common Core” curriculum, that they have added iPads for kinders to share during class time, and there are several field trips that include one to the zoo, one to a farm, and one to a “Dr. Suessical” musical show. I have my doubts about the patience of my kinder or any of the others to sit through a musical, but we’ll see. One of the teachers seemed a bit more creative and art oriented and I think I will try to get Kari in her class. Kari loves crafts and art projects at home and I found a website with elementary art lessons that shows how to do simple kindergarten art with basic materials. I’m no art whiz, but Kari doesn’t know that yet so we have fun anyway.

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Biking With the Kids

It was a wonderful fall day this Sunday so I decided to take the kids a few friends out for a bike ride in the neighborhood. Between me and kids we have four bicycles and guess what? Every tire on every bike either low or flat. Earlier in the morning, I pumped each one up and waited an hour to see what would happen. As luck would have it, only one tire was totally flat. I popped in a spare tube on Lucas’ bike and we were set to go. We rode around the local park to get everyone used to riding again, and then off we went on the bike trail near our house.

It was a great fall day, with the temperatures in the mid 70’s. The kids raced around and got their seemingly endless energy out on the trail. I really do have to get Lucas off his training wheels soon, they slow the bike down way too much and we had to go at his pace most of the time. I could have towed him in the bike trailer, but I need him to get better at bike handling and build up his endurance.
I’ve also got to get everyone helmets. The girls especially are getting big enough to go much faster than I feel safe for them to go with or without helmets. I like to buy made in USA products as much as possible, but it’s tough to find USA bicycle products in the stores. I did find a site with toys made in USA on the net, but even that had very few bicycle related items. I guess I’ll just have get whatever helmets the local shops have even if they are made offshore.

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Pumpkin Patch

Took the kiddos and some friends out to the local pumpkin patch over the weekend. The kids have been talking about costumes and carving pumpkins non stop. I know they are doing pumpkin, fall, and Halloween related things at school and they see their neighbors lights too. So we have to get ours done to be festive. We’ll probably host a party at our house for the kids, their friends and their cousins, so we will need to get a bunch of little pumpkins for everyone to carve and decorate.

I think I may need some help from my sister and her adult friends to help carve pumpkins to keep the kids from hacking off their fingers. Although I do keep a big box of hello kitty band-aids at all times just in case.

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Kids Soccer Season Begins

The kid’s soccer season has begun and we kicked it off with a birthday / soccer party. The party was for Deanne’s best friend Mia who turned nine. The whole thing was festooned with a soccer motif and all the kids (mostly girls) dressed up in their soccer uniforms. These parties usually turn into very noisy, very rambunctious affairs, what with all the cupcakes, soda and candy necklaces. Good thing we had it outdoors at the local park. We played a little adults vs. kids soccer and the kids easily outran and outscored the adults. I learned that I need to get on the treadmill more often. I also learned that my little princess is a very competitive and ruthless opponent.

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